Grâce à la liberté dans les communications, des groupes d’hommes de même nature pourront se réunir et fonder des communautés. Les nations seront dépassées.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Fragments posthumes XIII-883)

Chapitres 12-15 (4)




Preamble
This chapter emerged from the more formal Last Photo, Pool Photo work, when we started looking at weather charts, wind surfing competitions at Portimao, personal diaries of ex-pats, and the descriptions of temperature and weather in the Tapas group's statements and Rogatories.
It was soon realised that regardless of anything else, the wind and weather are capable of proving - on the balance of probabilities at the very least -
that the Last Pool photo cannot have been taken at lunchtime on 3/5/7
and that the curtains cannot have 'whooshed' at 10 pm on 3/5/7
Both are independent of any other considerations, and this Chapter can stand alone for this reason.

The Last Photo - revisited
Kate states that the Last Photo, of Gerry, Amelie, and Madeleine sitting by the children’s pool, was taken, by her, on Thursday 3rd May 2007
“We then sat round the toddler pool for a while, dipping our feet in, and I took what has turned out to be my last photograph to date of Madeleine.”
The time in the EXIF metadata is shown as 13:29, but the McCanns were at great pains to point out that this time was one hour wrong, and it was actually taken at 14:29
Date/Time Original 2007:05:03 13:29:51+01:00
The photo shows Gerry wearing sunglasses, T shirt and shorts, with a slight sheen of perspiration across his forehead, the children in sun hats, which are casting shadows, there are clear shadows cast by the tree, and by the sun beds.
The edges of the shadows are sharp, indicating bright sun.
However, the weather records for Thursday 3rd May 2007 in Praia da Luz tell a totally different story.
At 1pm the temperature was 17º C, (62ºF) This is relatively cold.
At 2pm the temperature had risen to 18ºC (64ºF) Again not hot enough for sweat to break out on the brow of a man wearing nothing more than a thin cotton T shirt and shorts.
Across the top of the figure is a grey bar which indicates the cloud cover.
At 1pm and 2pm it is shown as 50%
By 4:30pm it was 90% so we may deduce that at lunchtime there may have been cloud cover somewhat greater than 50% and increasing as the afternoon progressed.
It also shows TWO separate cloud layers, one at 540m which then rises to 740m, and a higher one at 2700m
The record for the entire holiday week is even more instructive.

Here we see a clear pattern of the temperature falling and the cloud cover increasing between Sunday evening 29 April, and the following Friday morning 4 May.
When we consider the Last Photo we must ask the following questions.
What do we SEE ? What do we KNOW ? And then what can we DEDUCE ?

We see
Shadows have sharp outlines
Shadows more or less vertical
Bright reflection from human skin
Bright reflection from objects
Sheen of perspiration on Gerry's forehead
Children in very light dress
Children in sun hats
Gerry wearing very dark sunglasses
Gerry wearing T shirt and shorts
Bright and sharp reflection in sunglasses
Father and children with feet in the water

We know
The pool was very cold - all week
Weather for the rest of the week was cold and cloudy

What do we deduce ?
The photo was taken on a pleasantly warm or even a hot day.
It was taken when the sun was more or less overhead. Solar Zenith was at 13:29 for the days in question. Therefore, in layman’s terms the sun was overhead between 12:30 and 2:30 pm
There were no low clouds and there was no high overcast


But surely wind speed and direction depend on other factors, buildings, vegetation . You make a very valid point.
Wind speed IS measured about 3m from the ground, and in an open area, for the obvious reasons that you give. The ground has a frictional resistance, there are walls, buildings, street furniture, and then hedges and trees, all of which will act to slow the apparent speed at human level
The wind speed and direction at lunchtime is given as 7.2 m/s, or a stiff breeze, Force 4, and the direction approximately WSW, or bearing 250

On the map it is coming in along the red line (the arrow is pointing the wrong way !)
In fact this is across a large patch of waste land, tennis courts and then the very low wall by the Tennis courts in the Ocean club, which are protected only by chain link fencing. The vegetation, although there is some, is low.

As we can see there is not much of a barrier to reduce the force of the wind. And I suppose that even reducing Force 4 would only bring it down to Force 3.
Well exactly, and if we look again at Madeleine’s very fine hair falling across her face, and her floppy little sun hat, we are entitled to ask whether they were sitting in any wind at all.
But if I may digress slightly, this raises another very interesting point,
Let us stick with the issue of wind force and direction .. .
Later that evening, around 10pm Kate tells us what happened when she entered the apartment.
Her first statement said the curtains were wide open,
and immediately noticed that the door to her children's bedroom was completely open, the window was also open, the shutters raised and the curtains open, while she was certain of having closed them all as she always did.
But later we have seen repeated interviews, and read in the autobiography, which say they were tight closed.
but I just noticed that the door, the bedroom door where the three children were sleeping, was open much further than we’d left it.
I went to close it to about here, and then as I got to here, it suddenly . . . slammed, . . . . and literally as I went back in, the curtains of the bedroom which were drawn, [demonstrates with both forearms together] that were closed, “whoosh’ like a gust of wind kind of blew them open.
[extract from book] p. 71 
Then I noticed that the door to the children’s bedroom was open quite wide, not how we had left it. At first I assumed that Matt must have moved it. I walked over and gently began to pull it to. Suddenly it slammed shut, as if caught by a draught.
She says the door slammed even though she was holding it, and when she pushed it open again another gust “whooshed” the curtains into the room.
By 10pm the wind had died down, and was 4 m/s, Force 2, bordering on the low end of Force 3. It has also veered to WNW, or bearing 290.

 
Assuming the window was open, it is only 1 m x 0.5 m, so half a square meter. The door is 2 m x 0.75 m so one and a half square metres.
So any wind pressure entering the room is effectively dissipated over three times the area,
Now let us look at photos of the area outside the bedroom window.
What we see is a small car park lined with thick and high trees, a substantial wall, and then another wall just outside the window of the apartment

So the argument which says the effective speed and power of the wind is reduced by vegetation, walls, street furniture, cars and other obstacles applied here with even greater force. This apartment window was by any standards very well sheltered. En contrebas du parking, protégée le mur de séparation. And from that we then have to imagine what wind power or force would be necessary to tear through all that barrier - and remember the wind is coming in at an angle across that road, across other areas with high buildings and thick vegetation.
And the wind still has to have the force to get in through a small open window, and then slam a door being held by an adult, and on the second occasion to pull full length curtains from where they were jammed between the bed and the wall, or jammed behind the wicker chair, against the wall, so that they can “whoosh”.
And that wind force, would then one assumes also hit the Tapas bar around the same time, and we remember that the bar was encased in about 40 square metres of clear tarpaulin. Yet not a single guest or member of staff reports what would have been a deafening sound as those two gusts hit.
The weather reports from Faro Airport are similarly silent on the point.

So it has been an interesting excursion, driven by responding to reasoned arguments that the wind conditions might have permitted the Last Photo to have been taken on Thursday 3rd, but leading not only to a serious suspicion, on those grounds alone that it could not have been, but also to some serious doubts about the slamming door and whooshing curtain story. There just does not seem to be enough evidence to substantiate either, as with so much else in this continuing mystery.
What is even more interesting is to note that the McCanns’ entire story involving the Last Photo, and flapping curtains depends on flat calm and hot at lunchtime, and high wind at bedtime. The facts are exactly the opposite.



The McCann family, and the Dossier of Death
A ’Dossier’ was prepared, allegedly, of ‘tweets’, Facebook messages, and blog entries, sent to people unconnected with the McCanns
It was handed to the Metropolitan Police, who sent it to Leicestershire Police.
Both forces decided there was NOTHING in it which merited closer examination.
It made its way to Sky News, and to Martin Brunt. He chose to pursue Brenda Leyland and the encounter was repeated on Sky’s rolling news programme for an entire day.
Two days later Brenda Leyland was found dead.
The verdict at the Inquest was Suicide.

“The McCanns want @sweepyface prosecuted”, a source close to the couple said last night. “This wicked person and the other trolls out there are very sad individuals: he said. “Kate and Gerry hope police take action against her, and if she gets prosecuted all the better. It is a criminal act and she needs to pay the price.”
Brenda Leyland did indeed pay the price. She paid with her life.

There are no prizes for guessing the identity of the ‘source close to the couple’.
There are also no prizes for discovering who handed the dossier to the police, or to Sky News and Martin Brunt
• Jim Gamble, sometime head of CEOPS, sacked by Theresa May, stated that the family did not hand in the dossier, neither did they have anything to do with it.
• Sky News and Martin Brunt said the dossier was handed in by 'anonymous web users.'
• Gerry McCann stated on BBC Radio 4 that they had no presence on social media.
• However Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said the McCann family handed in the dossier.

So do we believe Britain’s most Senior Police Officer, when he says the family handed it in, or Gamble, Mitchell, Brunt, and Gerry ?
Your choice, obviously.
The TV confrontation between Sky News reporter and the deceased Mrs Leyland may be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkAzz8Pwdvc where it is headed Police Investigate Madeleine McCann Family Online Abuse.

In the first part of the video, from 3;58 to 4:54 there is footage of the person who allegedly created the dossier which Martin Brunt was to refer to.
This location is in fact Craiglockhart Pond, in Edinburgh. (55º55’N, 3º13’W)
The possible identity of the person involved in preparing, as opposed to handing in, the dossier is less easy to determine, but the following may assist.
The person in the video uses the expressions
“WE are talking about materials which are libellous, completely untrue.
“WE were getting nowhere by reporting it to the sites
“WE were finding people going online . . .”

This is highly suggestive of a family member, as we might expect.
What follows are comparison screen shots from the Sky video, and photos and screen shots from other sources. All are in the public domain.

Calves and ankles
Hair
Steel bangle
Favourite Colour ?

In addition, Sky chose to ‘voice-over’ the original, in standard English with an acceptable accent. Listening to the following recording of the likely suspect might help explain why.
It is suspected on reasonable grounds that the woman in question is of course Philomena McCann, Gerry McCann’s elder sister. She is a part time teacher in Ullapool.
The person who set up and ran, and may still do so, the ludicrously expensive website for the McCanns and their “Fund”, (in fact a Private Limited Company), was one of her pupils.
Philomena - who told the world that ‘It is obvious that someone with malicious intent went through that window and took Madeleine from the safety and security of her family.”
And who told the world that “Gerry and Kate were in a clear line of sight of their kids . . . and if they’d come out the front, they’d have seen them.”

Someone used, in fact, to talking or repeating utter nonsense - because someone told her to.
She is married to “Quicksand Tony” a skilled photographer, knowledgeable amateur astronomer, and photoshop expert pervert, who used to post his images on deviantart.com, quicksandfans.com, deepsinking.org, and possibly other similarly depraved sites.
It is not known whether Philomena McCann shared her husband’s perverted interest. It is however doubtful whether after several years of marriage that she could remain totally unaware of it.

The question however remains -
Does she have blood on her hands ?


The “Last Photo”
1 The McCanns had a Canon PowerShot A620.
In her book Kate only refers to a camera in the singular. My camera, our camera. She clearly states that ‘our camera’ was taken away by RO’B so that photos could be printed in the form of a poster. Later that night, when everyone had been asked to leave the apartment, the official scenes of crime photos were taken by the PJ. On the dining table the Canon PowerShot can clearly be seen. The photo session and forensic examination by the PJ took place between 0030 and 0400, 4/5/2007.
The EXIF metadata for the “Last Photo” clearly shows that it was taken on the Canon.
2 The Canon was retained by the McCanns, and neither it, nor the memory stick were apparently surrendered for examination. This camera was in Kate’s possession early on 10th May. It is not known whether the PJ were fully aware of its existence.
3 On 20th May Gerry McCann flew to England, and returned home.
4 He returned to Portugal on 22nd May, with Clarence Mitchell.
5 Gerry McCann’s sister, Philomena, also flew out to Portugal on 22nd May.
6 The “Last Photo” was released through the AFP agency on 24th May.
7 The “Last Photo” was taken with the Canon PowerShot A620 camera.
8 It is relatively simple to alter some of the EXIF metadata, including the date and time, using software freely available on the internet.
9 The EXIF metadata have clearly been accessed and amended by the AFP agency to include the description of the photo.
10 Gerry’s brother in law - Philomena’s husband - Tony Rickwood, is a photographer who is highly skilled at altering images. It is inconceivable that he does not also know how to alter the date and time in the EXIF and to erase aspects of it.
11 Tony Rickwood owns several cameras, including a Canon PowerShot A480 - a model previous to the A620.
12 The McCanns lay heavy emphasis on the importance on the “Last Photo”.
13 Through their spokesman Mitchell, they go to great lengths to explain that the EXIF time might be incorrect by exactly an hour. They make no such claims for any other photo. No other photos from the Canon have been put in the public domain. In each story the words “her own camera” are used.
14 The “Last Photo” is tendered as independent evidence that Madeleine was alive and well during the early afternoon of 3rd May
15 The time given in the EXIF data for the photo is exactly Solar zenith (noon) at Faro, Portugal on 3/5/2007
16 Rickwood is a keen astronomer, and is a member of the British Astronomical Society.
17 There is a strong suspicion that the time and date on the “Last Photo” are, at the very least, unreliable. It is not thought that the image itself has been altered.
18 Almost all other such evidence is specifically stated to be uncorroborated by others in the group, and detailed explanations are given as to why this is so. This leaves the “Last Photo” as the only independent evidence of Madeleine’s being alive and well on 3rd May.
19 The visit by David Payne, and the check by Oldfield do not alter this position. There is considerable doubt as to the veracity of the crèche sheets, which contradict directly Kate’s alternative version in the book.
20 Rachel Oldfield’s statement that she saw Madeleine on the tennis court on 3rd is directly contradicted, in detail and with some force, by O’Brien. In her Rogatory Tanner speaks of Gerry having a lesson and has thus clearly confused this with the Wednesday. O’Brien contradicts this and corrects this with some force and determination, making it clear that Madeleine was NOT there on Thursday 3rd May.

Rachel Oldfield confuses the two days, putting the taking of the “tennis balls” photo on Thursday 3rd.
Kate, and O’Brien are absolutely clear that this was not 3rd.
Kate insists that she herself took the tennis balls photo on Tuesday 1st
Russell O’Brien insists it was taken on Wednesday 2nd
Rachel Oldfield states that it was taken by Jane Tanner on the Thursday 3rd.

When the witnesses talk about Madeleine’s NOT having been present, the style of the language used is very different from the rest of the Rogatory interviews. The witnesses become fluent and coherent, and we see very little of the hesitation, the linguistic fillers of “err”, ummm”; repetitions of part sentences and so on, which characterise the rest of those interviews when other aspects of their recollections are being discussed.

Short discussion.
It is accepted that when numerous witnesses are interviewed some discrepancies will be found between and among their recollections. Sophisticated computer systems now exist to highlight these so that they may be analysed. HOLMES II, ANACAPA, and others are routinely employed by CID for major enquiries.
In this case it is clear that the only person who reports having seen Madeleine on the tennis court on 3rd is mistaken. The events surrounding that ‘sighting’ make it clear from other witnesses that it is simply confusion of the day, and may not bear any sinister interpretation.
The visit to the apartment by Payne looks contrived, as it has no apparent motive. The differences between what Payne and what Gerry and then Kate report are glaring, and this reported episode must be treated with extreme caution.
As has been noted many times elsewhere, Oldfield is very quick to retreat from the position of having apparently been the last person to see Madeleine alive. Any detective will confirm that this is a highly dangerous position to be in.

SUMMARY
The above sets out the facts, or some of them, so far as they can be ascertained. References have been cut back from the original, but are available if any mistake is identified.
But facts often require interpretation, particularly for people who are not fully acquainted with more of the background to this remarkable case.
What follows is one possible interpretation.
1 The “Last Photo” is tendered as conclusive proof of Madeleine’s having been in a particular place at a particular time. The pre-emptive insistence by the McCanns that the time was wrong by exactly one hour deserves further consideration.
This alleged difference between the recorded time and the actual time was reported by the media as the photo was released. It was not said later after questions had been asked.
This did not happen with any other photograph. We know that in any event the other photos were not dated, but this was never explained, and no attempt was taken to show how they all fitted into the scenario of the whole holiday. They are merely presented.
It is of course entirely irrelevant whether the “Last Photo” was taken at 13:29 or 14:29 ; 12:29 or 15:29
The exact time and date of the “Play house” and the “Jumping on grass” and the “Tennis balls” photos are equally irrelevant except to show that Madeleine was with her family on holiday at that resort, which is not seriously at issue.
So what is the importance of drawing such attention to the exact time on the “Last Photo” ?
Clearly it is to do with something else, which is to draw attention to the DATE.
Given that most people were previously unaware of the existence of EXIF metadata, this had to be for a purpose.
And that purpose must be to show that Madeleine was alive and well at lunchtime on 3rd May.
But it does so in a typically blunt way, which ultimately serves to do exactly the opposite from what was intended. We recall that Clarence Mitchell accompanied Gerry on his return to PdL on 22nd, and so by 23rd was in control of what was released to the media and the wording of press releases. Does this blunt instrument bear the classic Mitchell hallmark ?

2 The “Last Photo” with Madeleine smiling and happy would have been an ideal choice for the poster put out that first night. The camera is capable of editing images, or it could have been edited on the computer from which it was eventually printed. (We note that the image was subsequently ‘cropped’ before release in another place, and later still the small part of Gerry’s elbow by Madeleine’s right ear and the lower part of Amelie's arm were skilfully photoshopped out and replaced to show the background rock wall).

THUS
http://www.justpamalam.co.uk/gmb//Written_Declaration_brussels08_corr/Slide2.JPG

But it is very easy to crop carefully excluding the bit of Gerry’s elbow - like this
This would have been a perfect, charming and heart-rending image, and it could have been given out on 4th or 5th May, printed and distributed.
But it wasn’t.
In its place what they used was a very boring photo of Madeleine, in a strange pose, in an unknown location, on an unknown date. With no explanation.
This one
and we note the pixel aspect ratio of 1888 x 2350
(See point 6 later, and work out that this was NOT taken on the Canon)

3 But yet another photo was released on 4th May, and used as a front page image by the Daily Mirror on 5th May. It is the full face portrait, which adorns the cover of the book 'madeleine', and has become the iconic image of Madeleine wearing a red dress, and showing clearly the coloboma eye defect on which so much emphasis was placed in the first years.
This one

4 We were told by Kate that on that day (3/5/07)) at 5:30pm Madeleine was “pale and worn out,. . .really tired . . wanted me to pick her up . . . so exhausted.” But on the photo timed at 2:29 Madeleine looks alert, happy and smiling.
What could have reduced an alert, happy and smiling child to pale and worn out, really tired, and exhausted in the space of three hours ? Sailing and tennis might have that capacity, in the hands of untrained and unprofessional child minders, but we recall that Madeleine did NOT play tennis that afternoon, and did NOT go sailing.

5 On the afternoon of 3rd, uniquely, all the other members of the Tapas group suddenly absented themselves from the vicinity of the Ocean Club Tapas area, and distanced themselves from the company of the McCanns. All of them - the entire group with children and grandparent - deciding simultaneously to go to the Paraiso bar, which is located on the beach some half a kilometre away.
Great play is then made of Kate’s jogging on the beach itself, and being seen by the Tapas group. This is emphasised by some of the group and by Kate in her book. It has been observed that running that particular beach is extremely difficult and punishing, the sand being very fine and soft, and offering little resistance to a running shoe. It has also been observed that the way to the beach from the apartment is very angled, and that serious runners prefer straight lines. The decision to display herself on the beach in this way is thus questionable, and may have another motive.

6 So far as can be discovered there is no reference to the Canon PowerShot camera anywhere in the files.
The only camera referred to in the PJ files is an Olympus C-50, examined by Det. Con. Martin, and it is now believed owned by another totally unconnected family.
The only two clues as to the very existence of the Canon are therefore
• the photo of the dining table in the apartment taken by the PJ during the early hours of 4th, where the Canon can clearly be identified by its distinctive shape,

NOTE: The Modify Date is clearly the date the French Press agency added their comments.
The pixel aspect ratio is correct for the Canon Powershot A 620
https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canona620

We do know however that twice in her book Kate reports that “my camera” had been taken away by Russell Oldfield during the late evening so that the poster could be prepared. That MUST therefore refer to the Canon. And it MUST therefore also be the Canon to which Gerry refers when he says that he has no other photos in his possession.
Gerry also helpfully adds that it is Kate who takes most of the photos.
In her book Kate claims ownership of the “tennis balls” photo and the ”Last Photo”.
Since Gerry is visible in at least one of the others, the implication is clear.
Kate took the family photos.

7 Gerry specifically states in a signed statement to the PJ on 10th May that he had no other photos in his possession. The PJ may have relied on this statement and assumed that he was telling the truth. The sudden appearance of the “Last Photo” after his return from the UK, with Clarence Mitchell, and after the arrival of his sister in Portugal, clearly bearing the EXIF metadata is therefore extremely suspect.

Can this list of facts ALL be simply coincidences ?
The camera - with the Last Photo, retained - Canon PowerShot A620
The date of the trip to the UK
The photographic skills and knowledge of the brother-in-law
The skills and knowledge of Astronomy of the brother-in-law
The date of return to PdL, with Mitchell
The date of the trip by the sister to Portugal
The date of release of the ‘Last Photo’ to the world’s press
The pre-emptive and unnecessary insistence on looking at the time (and date) of the photo
The fact of the total lack of witnesses to show Madeleine alive on 3rd (or indeed after 29th)
The explanations for almost every difficult aspect of the story
Or does it amount to something else ?


In the Chapter Floppy sun hats and flapping curtains I showed how the Last Photo, the Pool Photo could not have been taken at lunchtime on 3rd May.
In the Chapter The Last Photo I showed how it was clearly possible for four clearly identifiable people, acting in concert, to take the image, alter the EXIF Metadata, take it back to PdL, and hand it to the person responsible for putting it into the public domain.
Both Chapters concentrated on proving what the photo was not.
Here I return to the theme, and try to establish what the photo actually is, in other words, when was it taken ? Why is this so important ? Why should we spend so much time bothering about this one photograph?

It is for this reason:
The initial story about forced and broken shutters did not last even 24 hours. The “man carrying child” meme lasted longer until it was picked to pieces by researchers and then officially destroyed by DCI Redwood. Team McCann find it impossible to let this go, and it is still shown on their official website.
The complete and total lack of any forensic trace of an intruder, and then the devastating ‘evidence’ of the alerts by the blood and cadaverine dogs left the McCanns in a perilous position. It leaves them with absolutely nothing to support their official story.

They rely therefore on this one image.
The McCanns put this image in the public domain nearly three weeks after the alleged event as proof that Madeleine was alive and well at lunchtime on Thursday 3rd May. No other images have been used in that way, no other dated images from the rest of the holiday - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, for example - were ever put into the public domain.
For a close and loving family, on an exciting early season holiday with little children the lack of photos and video footage - the Canon PowerShot A620 is capable of taking video at very good resolution - is, it is submitted, very significant and very revealing.

But there is nothing. No video of the children trooping through the village holding on to Sammy Snake, eating ice creams, sitting on the bed reading, sailing, swimming, playing tennis, painting, dancing, having ‘high tea’... nothing !

And that itself is highly suspicious. So let us re-cap on the Holiday weather.
We have
• Official weather reports
• Statements from the Tapas group,
• statements from independent observers
AND
• photos taken by independent people, timed and dated, and posted online.
• Video and stills from a major wind-surfing competition just along the coast.

ALL agree, and ALL make it impossible for the Last Photo to have been taken on 3/5/7.
As was said a long time ago, the weather that week was pretty much a washout.
The Algarve - despite what Gerry clearly believes - is on the North Atlantic. This is a cold sea, and brings with it cold air temperatures. April and May are still spring.
When we look at the statements and rogatories of the group, all say the same thing. After the arrival day - Saturday - and the first full day - Sunday - the weather was dreadful. It was cold, and even raining, necessitating wearing all their available warm clothes; two families at least saying they did not lift the shutters all week; the McCanns driven back from the beach after 20 minutes because the children did not like the cold wet sand.

And it only seems to have started to change significantly by the evening of Thursday 3rd.

Matthew Oldfield "Erm, it wasn't, erm, not specifically, it was a better day on the Thursday than it was on the Wednesday, because we had rain, and I think it was sort of warmer and bit more clear, I don't remember the, it may have been a bit cloudy, but I don't remember specifically".
* * *
Rachel Oldfield
“. . probably that the weather had been a bit better that day
* * *
Fiona Payne
"I actually am wondering whether we went to the beach at all before Thursday, just because I’m thinking about the weather and I remember thinking at the time, it’s such a shame for the kids that we haven’t really gone to the beach, because, you know, that's a part of the reason we chose the resort”.
* * *
1485 “The first time?”
Reply “We definitely went on the Thursday and I think that might have been the first time we actually did that as a group, minus Kate and Gerry”.
* * *
"And I remember the Thursday was a bit of a transition day, as I say, you know, with the weather, it just seemed to warm up, it was sunnier, erm, and it was a very pleasant evening, you know, it was a nice sunny evening, warm”
* * *
TANNER
Reply “Yeah, I think err so it wasn’t, that’s one reason why we didn’t open the shutters to open the window or anything in that room, it wasn’t actually really hot at all, it was actually quite cloudy in the days and at night it was actually quite chilly.”
4078 “So it wasn’t sort of going in the pool weather or, only if you’re very brave.”
Reply "No it was really, really cold,"
* * * *
Diane Webster
4078 "But Wednesday stands out to you because you know the weather wasn’t very good?”
Reply "Wednesday I remember because it was raining in the morning, we thought oh no tennis, you know, but we did have the tennis later on because I remember err we were waiting for the courts to dry.”

GM AND KM First statements
Apart from the Kids Club and the apartment, they only went to the beach with Madeleine and the other children once, and only for a very short period of time, because the weather was unstable, which happened between 1.30 and 3 p.m., when they returned to the club.

GM Second statement
They were at the beach for about 20 minutes, the deponent and MADELEINE having put their feet in the water. During this time the weather changed with a cloudy sky and cold, therefore they went to a terrace at a café near the beach, on the left, where they bought five ice-creams and two drinks.
* * *

In any event the pattern is well established
Thursday is described as “transition day”, the weather beginning to change, with the evening being rather better.
It was “a bit better” on Thursday, - but this is in comparison with Wednesday when it was raining and the tennis was cancelled.

Thursday is the first day in their collective recollection that the sun had begun to come out. It was a bit more clear. But still not warm enough for sunbathing. And so on.
We recall the strange description by Kate of the whooshing curtains and slamming door, (see previous Chapter) and note that not one other person records this significant and major event.

What the McCanns failed to notice is that PdL is a small town on the Atlantic coast.
It has a small fishing fleet. This means that weather conditions are, and have always been, very important to the locals.
This in turn means that, as with any other sea faring nation, the system of Meteorological reporting and the keeping of records has become highly specialised and extremely detailed.
Portugal has acquired air transport, and Air Traffic records are even more detailed.
Those reports are in the public domain, and go back a very long way.

And from those records we can say with certainty that the Tapas 7’s descriptions of the weather are absolutely correct.
The weather that week was ghastly, heavily overcast, cold, windy, with rain on the Wednesday. There was a major wind-surfing competition just along the coast, and video from that event bears this out.
On Thursday it began to change. By mid to late afternoon the cloud was beginning to break up, and by late evening had largely dispersed, leaving a clear and still, and fairly cold night.
Clear and still - being the operative words.

So let us now look at some contemporaneous account of the weather that week, recorded by a retired professional observer of these phenomena, and meticulous diarist.
Extracts from communications (edited)
Witness / Commentator 1
Calendar of Events, and notes about weather
[This has been heavily edited to focus on the weather related items]
Saturday, April 28 2007. Clear skies with warm temperatures for time of year enabled a full entry in the golf competition at the nearby Boavista Resort. From 1 til 4pm, warm dry conditions. Clear skies at night resulted in cooler conditions by dawn the following day.
Sunday, April 29 2007. Another fine day (warm once the Sun got up) but some evidence of weather on the change by evening. No threat of frost for the following day due to cloud cover that night.
Monday, April 30 2007. Cloudy day, but dry and average temperatures.
Tuesday, May 1 2007. Cooler cloudier weather,
Wednesday, May 2 2007. Cool, cloudy with sunny spells and moderate winds
Thursday, 3 May 2007. Weather continues cool and cloudy with sunny intervals, but not pool dipping weather.
Noticed first evidence of weather change, as by 7.15 pm cloud was clearing from the North. Just after 11 pm night sky clear with full moon
I arrived at my apartment about 11:45 pm. It was a clear dry moonlit night and no sound of human or vehicular activity, and it was good to reflect that better weather had now set in.
In fact, the rains did not return until 14 June.
Friday 4 May, 2007. I was awakened at c.0750 on a fine clear morning,
Saturday 5 May, 2007. Weather continues fine and sunny.
And compare the clouds with the clouds in the photo we reasonably believe was taken on Saturday, late afternoon, after the families had settled in and were beginning to explore.


By the evening of Sunday 29th April a cloud bank can clearly be seen on the horizon
Having viewed the sequence of photos above, the expert and local resident said:
"The sequence indicates a typical weather system movement in Portugal.
In short, it shows clearer cooler, but brighter weather, moving down from the North on a NW wind (the prevailing western Algarve wind) and displacing milder but wet and cloudy weather as it does so. [The Pictures] of a local Algarve scene taken on the 4 and 5 May [ . . .] indicate that a period of clear northerly airstream weather (typically lasting a week or so) has finally moved in."

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

The Met sequence and the photo sequence coupled with the evidence of conditions given by the Tapas 9 confirms a typical Algarve weather pattern; thereby casting serious doubt on the McCann's date for the last photo. Wind speed is still the overriding factor in eliminating 3 May as the date of photo in my opinion. It is difficult to judge the wind conditions from the pictures on either date, but the evidence of all (on the ground at the time) consulted indicate that the photo as posed would not have been possible on 3 May.

However of much greater importance - is the wind speed and cloud factor.
At 1400 on 3 May, wind speed is recorded as force 4 with a still air temperature of 17 C. Although the pool area is to some extent sheltered, with the westerly direction component the wind would be markedly chilly with a chill factor pulling the temp down to as low as 15C - definitely not suitable for scantily clad pool activity.

Of far greater importance; however, on the photo there is no sign of any disturbance of Madeleine's hair which hangs lankly below her hat. A hat which, moreover, is perched loosely on top of her head and would not remain unsupported in a Force 4 wind. Clearly, the cloud factor on 3 May would rule out such a photo.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

(Short discussion about the photo dated 3/5/2007

Solar zenith - noon - on 3rd May 2007 was at 13:29.
The temperature rises to its maximum two hours or so after this time.
The photo shows the sea, which by definition in the Algarve is to the south.
The shadow cast by the pillar of rock indicates that the sun is to the right, i.e. to the west.
The time of the photo may therefore be calculated and estimated using common sense.
It is some hours after Solar noon.
The cloud cover is beginning to break up, but is still at least 6/10, even 7/10.
Unless there are other reasons, people take posed photos when the sun is shining, not when it is obscured.)

All these pictures have been put in the public domain by their owners, but for various reasons the personal details have been erased / redacted, and it is not intended to reveal the exact source of each, other than to the proper investigative authorities.

Anyone with sufficient internet skills can however find them for him- or herself.

- - - - -

Where else might we look for confirmation ?

This shows an extract from the ”Last Photo” showing the reflection from GM’s forehead, allegedly taken on Thursday 3rd May, and a photo verified as taken on Sunday 29th April, showing a very similar reflection on a slightly moist forehead.


Conclusion:

What then can we reasonably conclude ?
On the balance of probabilities - but moving very close to “Beyond a reasonable doubt”; certain, so that we are sure . . .
The Last Photo = the Pool Photo was taken around lunchtime on Sunday 29th April 2007, and was NOT taken at 13.29 on Thursday 3rd May

It was taken on the Canon PowerShot A620 - the McCanns’ camera. It was taken by Kate as she has stated, with Sean somewhere to the side, very probably the focus of Madeleine’s attention.

It was not used for the poster, nor was it handed to the PJ. Its existence was concealed from the PJ by Gerry - when he said he had no more photos in his possession.

Nearly three weeks later it was revealed to the world by Clarence Mitchell who drew attention to the time and date recorded in the EXIF Metadata.

The identity of the person who altered the metadata, and the person who physically brought the altered image to PdL to hand to Gerry and Mitchell can be guessed at with some degree of confidence.

So we conclude that the photo is a forgery. It tells a lie about itself, in that it “purports” to be an image recorded on Thursday 3rd May 2007.
It is not.
The placing of this image into the public domain, with the clear intention that it should be used to persuade people of its veracity, including Portuguese and British Police officers, and the investigative and prosecution authorities of both countries is capable of amounting to

Conspiracy to Pervert the Course of Justice under English law,
and its equivalent under Portuguese Jurisdiction.
Much of this material was presented in Richard D. Hall's film - 'When Madeleine Died?' - published in February 2016 and is to be found on disc 2, at 25:15 onwards,
or on this video about 2 hrs onward.